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Comprehensive coverage of the food industry's latest, breaking news brought to you by just-food's leading network of international journalists.

Focus: ConAgra own-label exit plan is about growth

ConAgra Foods announced that it will sell off its loss-making private label business yesterday (30 June) in a move that, the company said, w...

IRI – The opportunity of range optimisation

It is time for food manufacturers across Europe to take a more sophisticated approach to range optimisation, Stephanie Augier, European anal...

Talking shop – Disruptive discounters dominate

The disruptive impact of the discount retailers has dominated global retail headlines during June, as our take of this month's key developme...

Focus: Mexican dairies focus on adding value

Dairy producers in Mexico have turned to product diversification to boost sales in the face of rising costs, weak purchasing power within lo...


Consuming issues: Battle against antimicrobial resistance just beginning 26 Jun 2015

Ben Cooper

The use of antibiotics in the rearing of animals has been a much discussed issue in recent weeks, with regulatory and corporate moves across a number of countries. Ben Cooper examines recent events in the context of the widespread concern over antimicrobial resistance.


Focus: Will synergies lift Ahold Delhaize in US? 26 Jun 2015

Katy Askew

The merger between European retailers Ahold and Delhaize is significant because it will allow the group's to scale up in the key US market, where the majority of revenue is generated. Announcing the deal, the companies said EUR500m (US$560m) in annual synergies are on the table. But these, as and of themselves, will do little to raise the combined group's lacklustre US growth trajectory. Katy Askew looks at the impact the merger will have in the US – and whether Ahold Delhaize will deliver on their promise to drive consumer-led innovation.


10 Things to Learn - JBS's acquisition of Moy Park from Marfrig 25 Jun 2015

Katy Askew

Brazilian protein giants Marfrig and JBS have reached an agreement that will see the ownership of European poultry processor Moy Park transferred to JBS. The deal, which values Moy Park at US$1.5bn, represents a win-win for both parties. Here is what each stands to gain.


M&A Watch - ConAgra should divest its Commercial Foods division 25 Jun 2015

Stefan Kirk, M&A advisors Glenboden

The investment in ConAgra's shares by hedge fund Jana Partners has prompted speculation that the group will sell one of its divisions, in order to better realise shareholder value. While the emphasis seems to be so far on ConAgra's troubled Private brands business, Stefan Kirk of M&A advisory Glenboden believes that the Commercial foods unit should be the divestment priority.


Focus: Has Hershey's international push backfired? 23 Jun 2015

Katy Askew

Compared to many food sector giants, Hershey's expansion on the international stage was relatively recent. Stepping up Hershey's presence overseas was seen as a way to unlock growth in rapidly-expanding markets and the company was bullish on its ability to translate the brand strength of its portfolio to new territories. But this path has proven challenging in 2015 and, last week, Hershey again lowered its sales forecast for the year, citing weakness in the key international market of China. Katy Askew examines whether Hershey's international drive has stalled.


In the spotlight: What lies behind Ferrero's move for Thorntons? 23 Jun 2015

Hannah Abdulla

Italian confectioner Ferrero has made a surprise move for UK chocolate maker and retailer Thorntons. One cannot ignore the fact Thorntons has had some challenges, not least in recent quarters with sales to UK multiples under pressure. What could be behind Ferrero's decision? Hannah Abdulla explores.


Focus: Will ConAgra sell own-label unit after Jana investment? 22 Jun 2015

Katy Askew

ConAgra Foods came under even more pressure to start delivering returns to shareholders last week when activist investor Jana Partners revealed it has taken a stake in the US food company. Shareholders have long grumbled about the seeming incompatibility between ConAgra's branded and private-label business, with shares in the under-performing US food maker at all time highs on the expectation that disposals must soon come. Are there more options open to ConAgra management than simply carving up the business? Katy Askew investigates.


In the spotlight: What the Vega buy means for WhiteWave Foods 18 Jun 2015

Hannah Abdulla

WhiteWave Foods' deal to buy of Canadian firm Vega last week will mean the US group adds plant-based nutritional powders and snack-bars to its range, products industry watchers expect to show promising growth in the near future. But low awareness among mainstream consumers of plant-based proteins could prove a challenge. Hannah Abdulla reports.


BRICs and beyond: Should Bel follow Morocco deal with more M&A? 12 Jun 2015

Dean Best

French cheese giant Bel Group has made a rare acquisition in an emerging market with a deal to buy a majority stake in Safilait, the third-largest dairy company in Morocco. Bel has not been as active as some rivals in expanding in the world's faster-growing dairy markets through M&A and Dean Best looks at whether the business should be doing more.


BRICs and beyond: Has Yoplait adopted the best expansion strategy in China? 12 Jun 2015

Katy Askew

The move from General Mills and Sodiaal to expand Yoplait into China is a significant step for the yoghurt brand. The potential of the Chinese yoghurt market and its growth profile makes it a tempting prize for any yoghurt manufacturer. But, Katy Askew asks, have General Mills and Sodiaal taken the best route to expansion in the market?


Focus: Smucker upbeat about food division despite pressures 10 Jun 2015

Katy Askew

JM Smucker has insisted it "feels good" about the positioning of its food portfolio in the face of falling sales volumes, lower pricing and shifting consumer trends as US consumers demand more 'better-for-you' options.


Focus: What impact will Maggi scare have on Nestle? 5 Jun 2015

Katy Askew

Dramatic scenes emerged from India today (5 June) as television cameras showed rowdy consumers burning Nestle's Maggi branded noodles in a bonfire. The scrutiny over the safety of the Maggi noodles has led to a rapid deterioration of consumer trust in the products in the country. Katy Askew looks at how the affair could affect the food giant.


In the spotlight: Are Nestle's latest moves in frozen enough to win over consumers? 5 Jun 2015

Hannah Abdulla

Nestle has announced two changes in the last week to try and boost sales of its frozen business in the US. Both moves play into rising consumer trends of healthier eating and convenience. But with Nestle's frozen business still reeling from the effects of a consumer shift towards fresh due to perceptions of it having greater goodness, are the moves enough to win consumers back? Hannah Abdulla explores.


Deal or no deal: How Findus acquisition would benefit Nomad 4 Jun 2015

Katy Askew

Since Nomad Holdings announced it had acquired European frozen food firm Iglo Group, the market has been waiting for the investment firm's next deal to help its ambition of building a portfolio of "best-in-class" FMCG brands. Nomad confirmed yesterday (4 June) it is in "exclusive" negotiations over the acquisition of assets of Findus Group. The acquisition would strengthen Iglo's hand in the European frozen food sector but, in order to seal the deal, Nomad could have to pay the piper, Katy Askew suggests.


In the spotlight: How the Applegate deal will benefit Hormel 29 May 2015

Hannah Abdulla

Hormel Foods swooped to acquire natural and organic meat processor Applegate Farms earlier this week in a US$775m deal. In financial terms, the deal does not bring much to the table. Industry experts, however, have reacted favourably due to the long-term growth prospects of the natural and organic meat category. Hannah Abdulla explores what the deal means for Hormel.


BRICs and beyond: Why Arla's Egyptian JV with Juhayna is shrewd 28 May 2015

Katy Askew

Arla Foods has entered a joint venture with Egypt's leading dairy processor, Juhayna Food Industries, that leaves the European dairy co-operative poised for expansion in a promising emerging market. Expanding via a tie-up with a local company is a smart move from Arla as it works to grow in a market where competition is on the up and M&A valuations are high. Katy Askew reports.


M&A Watch - Could Cloetta be takeover target? 26 May 2015

Stefan Kirk, M&A advisors Glenboden

With a new CEO at Cloetta, the European confectioner has already faced questions about its possible acquisition targets. However, Stefan Kirk, just-food M&A columnist and advisor at Glenboden, believes the company could itself be on the radar.


just-food's pick: Health, convenience dominate at Sweets & Snacks Expo 26 May 2015

Hannah Abdulla

Busier lifestyles and a growing awareness of how diet can affect health has prompted a big shift in the way US consumers eat. This has been particularly felt by the sweets and snacks industries where manufacturers are having to innovate to meet evolving consumer demand.


On the money: Why Dairy Crest needs to offload dairies 21 May 2015

Katy Askew

Dairy Crest chief executive Mark Allen said today (21 May) he is "confident" the group's disposal of its struggling dairies business to Muller Wiseman Dairies will gain competition approval. The group's full-year results, released earlier this morning, show exactly why this sale is vital to Dairy Crest's performance.


On the money: Premier to push on with range revamp 20 May 2015

Hannah Abdulla

Rationalisation of SKUs and innovation will continue to form a big part of Premier Foods plc's focus for 2015, CEO Gavin Darby has said.


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